Why Do College Students Love to Sleep?
Importance of sleep for college students
Sleep is an investment in the energy you require to be productive tomorrow. Sleep can be considered as meditation. Each day you wake up from sleep, you are reborn; you have 86,400 seconds to explore new possibilities and experiences.
Sleep is important for our physical and mental health. We literally heal in our sleep. Repair of our heart and other blood vessels occurs in our sleep. Sleep has immense benefits like reducing stress, keeping our heart happy, reducing inflammation, improving memory and concentration, most importantly sleep prevents us from getting various diseases.
Students are prone to stress. Students deserve to rest. Usually the teenagers i.e. the college going students suffer from a huge physical and mental transition. Puberty is already a critical stage of our lives and academics add on that extra stress to the existing discomfort.
Academic performance depends on the overall physical and mental health of the students. Inadequate sleep leads to several complications. Intense sleep deprivation makes one more susceptible to mental health conditions like depression, heart diseases, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, and numerous other dreadful health limitations.
How much sleep is good sleep?
Although sleep needs differ for every individual an average of 8 hours of a good night’s sleep is a must. College students often overlook the significance of sleep.
Students are always multitasking and most of them have difficulty in managing time. Eventually they tend to compromise on sleep because most of them can handle the day with 5 to 6 hours of sleep. In the long term, this habit leads to strong sleep deprivation which in turn affects their career and personal life.
Causes which affect the sleep of college going students:
1. Unhealthy sleep hygiene:
Sleep environment, time, caffeine consumption or alcohol before sleeping, usage of phone or screens before sleeping or any other activity which stimulates the brain harmfully contribute to the inadequacy of sleep.
Unsystematic sleep routine affects the quality of sleep. A regular bedtime helps you sleep better.
2. Overuse of Technology:
Too much of anything is too bad. As much as technology helps the students to upgrade their knowledge and perform better, too much of screen time also has great repercussions.
3. Lack of exercise:
According to the recent studies, the majority of the people who have sleep problems never exercised. The connection
between lack of exercise and low quality sleep is scientifically proven.
Exercise training is in fact a part of the treatment for insomnia. Lack of exercise leads to sleep problems, irritability, depression, anxiety as well as increases weight which in turn leads to the raise of several diseases.
4. Not a Balanced Diet:
Our sleep depends on how we take care of our bodies, what we feed our bodies and the environment around. If you do not intake a balanced diet then it increases your chances of sleep difficulties. What we eat plays a major role in determining our physical and mental health.
5. Consumption of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine:
Over consumption of such stimulants blocks the REM sleep. (Rapid eye movement sleep) REM is the most relaxing
and restorative sleep hence this makes the students feel irritable and unfocused in the long run.
The frequent compromise of these restorative sleep stages can lead to chronic sleep issues.Caffeinated drinks stimulate the brain and don’t allow the mind to rest.
Benefits of sleep for college going students:
1. Cognitive skills enhancement:
Basically sleep helps the body and mind to repair and rejuvenate. A healthy sleeping pattern, leads to a better cognition in students. Cognitive processes include decision making, concentration, memory, learning abilities, reasoning skills, problem solving and so on. Also improves skills like:
• Auditory processing
• Logic and reasoning
• Working memory
These are the most important skills the students require in order to perform better. Sleep literally helps the students to succeed in their career paths. Sleep improves the ability to learn new information and helps in the better storage of knowledge.
It keeps the students active and hence helps them to function at their best potential. It makes one more creative and innovative.
2. Improves interpersonal skills:
Lack of sleep affects the personal life of the students too. Poor quality sleep has a negative effect on their emotions
hence hampers their emotional intelligence. You are prone to emotions like anger and rage. Healthy sleep pattern improves interpersonal skills such as:
• Leadership qualities
• Active listening skills
• Networking and communication skills
• Reliability and accountability
• Adapting to change
• Rational optimism
• Emotional stability
• Social skills
3. Strengthens immune system:
The global pandemic of Corona virus has invaded the world today. The only way to stay healthy and prevent from
getting infected of the deadly virus is to boost our immunity.
A good sleep routine leads to the prevention of flu like symptoms. Sleep also improves the regulation of the blood glucose levels.
4. Reduces stress and anxiety:
Lack of sleep leads makes the students prone to stress. Teenagers and college going students are the most stressed
and most anxious according to the mental health surveys.
Stress is considered as an epidemic in the lives of the students. Fear of failure, fear of rejection and abandonment, insecurities, peer pressure, the need to fit in and find a purpose takes a serious toll on the mental health of the students.
Hence a good sleeping habit is mandatory for a peaceful mind and body of the students.
5. Overall well being:
In addition to the above mentioned benefits, sleep has numerous other positive influences on our health. Sleep
regulates the appetite. Hence prevents students from getting eating disorders. It prevents obesity. It helps one to be less lethargic hence preventing procrastination.
Tips to regulate your sleep:
1. Do not consume a heavy meal right before the bedtime.
2. Exercise early morning in order to set the tone of the day in a positive note.
3. Avoid intense workout right before your bedtime.
4. Ensure the space where you sleep vibrates good energy. Make it comfortable, clean, cozy and well ventilated.
5. Regulate your sleep cycle by waking and falling asleep on an exact time. This helps you have a routine.
6. 7-8 hours of sleep is mandatory. Make time for sleep. Do not take sleep for granted.
7. Do not oversleep. It makes one lethargic.
8. Plan the next day before going to bed every day. This gives you a purpose to jump out of the bed the next day.
9. Mediate every day for 5 to 10 minutes.
10. Involve walking, yoga, running and other exercises to your routine.
11. A warm bath and meditation before the bedtime always helps.
12. Practice to choose good thoughts before sleeping.
13. Make sure you spend your day well, because a productive day brings a happy sleep. Things to avoid before sleeping:
1. Do not consume caffeinated drinks for about 8 hours before your bedtime.
2. Never use alcohol to fall asleep.
3. Avoid using any electronic devices such as phones, laptops, tabs, television etc.
If you have a serious sleeping difficulty then please approach a doctor. Do not overlook the importance of sleep in our lives. It literally determines how our day passes. Make sure you are taking care of the basics like food, sleep, hygiene etc.
As students it gets difficult to focus on yourself as there is a lot to work on for you. Remember that your health comes first. Health and peace of mind is everything.
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